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ISO fresh flour tortillas in Durham/CH

I love me some fajitas, burritos, and chimis, but can't stand the taste of store-bought flour tortillas (must be the preservatives).

I've asked around (La Superior, Los Comales, Taco Lopez, Mirandas), but they all used pre-packaged flour torts (must be catering to gringos who think Taco Hell is authentic Mexican).

Anyhoo, any leads on where to find freshly made flour tortillas in Durham/Chapel Hill?

Jun 26, 2007
pgym in General South Archive

ISO free range organic chicken breast in Durham/CH

I'm need 15-20 organic chicken breasts for a dinner party next week, preferably boneless, but can debone myself if necessary.

Any alternatives to Whole Foods? The Carrboro or Durham Farmers Markets, maybe?

Jun 19, 2007
pgym in General South Archive

Am I just an ugly American?

Dude, you DO realize that French Polynesia is NOT IN FRANCE, don't you?

Jun 13, 2007
pgym in Not About Food

When you leave a small tip...

During service, if a server gets a particularly bad tip, they come to myself or one of my team to explain (they're English, they're from (name a state outside the pale) etc., he wanted something the chef wouldn't do, or I have no idea--everything went well.).

So what percentage of the time when your servers get a bad tip do they admit it was their fault because THEY screwed up, or had a bad attitude, were inattentive, or otherwise provided substandard service?

Mar 14, 2007
pgym in Not About Food

Best Mexican Raleigh/Durham Area??

Taqueria Lopez in Durham hadn't yet opened when Jim Leff came through, but I'd put it up there with Los Comales and Paraiso.

Mar 14, 2007
pgym in General South Archive

Where's the Best North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich

I agree with Mclaugh. Cue is the LAST thing on the menu I'd order at Bullocks.

Yes, Bullock's has its fans, even among 'Hounds, but even most of them concede the Cue doesn't measure up. Do a search for "Bullock's" and see for yourself.

Mar 13, 2007
pgym in General South Archive

best authentic Southern buffets/restaurants in Durham, Chapel Hill area (seeking collard greens, okra, fried chicken, casserole, butter beans, etc.)?

Best BBQ around? Surely you jest. Hell, Smithfield's makes better BBQ, and they're a chain!

Feb 18, 2007
pgym in Southeast

Is there a term for a cheese expert?

Au contraire, mon ami, M. Mons est un affineur.

Feb 13, 2007
pgym in Cheese

Food words, phrases and wonder where that one came from?

You're kidding abot the dictionary, right? Because if you're not kidding, you need to get a REAL dictionary.

From the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictonary, Vol I, Oxford Univ. Press, 1971:

"Piping, ppl.a. [f. pipe v. + -ing]...
3. quasi-adv. in phr. piping hot, so hot as to make a piping or hissing
sound, as a simmering liquid, or a dish freshly cooked; hissing hot;
hence gen. very hot."

The earliest citation is Chaucer, 1386, from the Miller's Tale, "Wafres
piping hoot out of the gleede."

See also:

Jan 19, 2007
pgym in Not About Food

Most Controversial DC Food Opinion

I agree with the burnt crust complaint. I've never had a properly cooked pie at 2Amys. The crust should be charred, not burnt.

Restaurants on the Go/Order - BEWARE!! [moved from Ontario board]

If you feel that the site did not adequately disclose the fact that the tip would be added automatically, you can dispute the total with the credit card company.

I suggest you go back to the website and take screenshots of the order and invoice pages to document the lack of adequate disclosure.

Dec 18, 2006
pgym in Not About Food

Pizza in Durham - First time at Bocci

Sorry, but the Brixx rec is gonna cost you three CH credibility points. ;-o

Randy's is too inconsistent, IMO. Every once in a while they hit on all cylinders and you get a great pie, but most of the time it's merely adequate.

Vinny's Italian Grill and Pizzaria (Churton Grove Center, Hillsborough) is as good as any pizza I've had in the Triangle, and they're a lot more consistent than Randy's. (There's a location in Apex as well, but I haven't been to that one.) The rest of the food's not bad, either.

Yes it's a chain, but they use top quality ingredients, many of which aren't avaliable at the retail level: All Trumps high gluten flour, Escalon 6-in-1 ground tomatoes (no citric acid = no bitter taste), Grande Mozz and prov, Ezzo pep, etc. And you can buy anything they use, be it ingredients, flatware, serving platters, kitcheware, or what have you. (I have friends who liked the sconces on the walls, and they even ordered some for them!) I buy Grande whole milk mozz there for less than half of what Whole Foods charges per lb.

[NB – In the interest of full disclosure: I do not work for, nor am I related to anyone who works for, Vinny's. I am not compensated in any way for my recommendation.]

Dec 17, 2006
pgym in General South Archive

Rave reviews, but I don't get it

I can't speak for Pizza Roma or Pizza Fiorentino , but the Pizza Napoletana crust is NOT burnt, it's charred.

As for the certification: 1) it's DOC (d'orgine controlla) not DOP; and 2) VPN America allows "members" so much leeway in terms of equipment, techniques, and ingredients, that the certification is little more than a marketing tool.

If 2 Amys cooking at 600°F, they're at least 200°F too low, and if they're cooking at 600°C, they're at least 90°C too high.

Good Mexican Food in Toronto?

The next good Mexican food resto that opens in the GTA will be the first.

Dec 17, 2006
pgym in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO Best bacon - don't care about ham

Surf over to Amazon and pick up Michael Ruhlman and Bran Polcyn's "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing," then go to your local Chinese or Latino market and pick up a slab of pork belly (skin on) and make your own. It's REALLY easy to do (my 10 yo is the designated baconmeister) and so much better than anything on the market, you'll never go back to the commercially distributed stuff. (Same with smoked salmon.)

Dec 16, 2006
pgym in General Topics

Open Table -no res when restaurant had room

Sorry. Should have put a space between the end of the URL and the closing ">". Remove the "%3E" at the end of the URl and it'll work.

Dec 07, 2006
pgym in Not About Food

Open Table -no res when restaurant had room

SOMEONE is misinformed, but it probably isn't the WSJ.

The WSJ doesn't say Opentable charges $1 per reservation.

Read the article for yourself: <>

Dec 06, 2006
pgym in Not About Food

Is a burrito a "sandwich"?

Yeah: the ignoramuses who don't know how they're supposed to be eaten open faced.

Nov 16, 2006
pgym in Not About Food

On the topic of am I going to burn my house down.....

It would be easier if you're willing to settle for ok pizza; if you're not willing to settle for just "ok" (and you're in the US), you've got three choices: visit Naples, Italy; visit one of the handful of restaurants and pizzarias in the US that serve pizza approaching the quality one finds at, say, Da Michelle or Antica Pizzeria Brandi in Naples, Italy: Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix), Il Pizziallo (Pittsburgh), Nizza La Bella and A16 (San Francisco), Pizziaolo (Oakland), Settebello (Las Vegas), Luzzos and UPN (NY), Antica Pizzeria (LA), and maybe one or two others; figure out how to make it at home.

Like mclaugh, I've cut the lock on my oven and I haven't had any problems with it.

Hate to say it, but if your DH's acquaintence had spent as much time figuring out how to use the oven after cutting the lock as s/he did figuring out how to rig a gas grill to emulate a brick oven to get the results s/he was after, odds are s/he'd be getting as good, if not better results with the oven.

Disabling the lock is a necessary first step, but it's only the first step: you still have to figure how to work with the idiosyncracies of your oven to get the results you're after, e.g., where are the hot spots and cool spots, what's the temp difference between the bottom and the top rack, what's the ideal stone placement for your oven, what type and thickness of stone works best in your oven (all stones are not created equal), how much does the temp drop when the door is opened, how long does it take for the stone to get back up to temp between pizzas, etc.

Nov 16, 2006
pgym in Not About Food

Is a burrito a "sandwich"?

My five year old's favorite food is tuna salad on a single slice of bread, which she eats open-faced and picks it up with her hands.

So tell me, byrd, If what she's eating is not a sandwich, what "technically and by definition" exactly is it?

Nov 15, 2006
pgym in Not About Food